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The Ubuntu developer Canonical Ltd. today announced general availability of a new edition of Ubuntu Core, its fully containerized operating system for edge and “internet of things” devices.

With the update, the operating system now supports real-time compute in robotics and industrial applications, the company said. Ubuntu Core is an OS that’s designed for low-powered devices. It’s incredibly lightweight, secure and resilient, the company claims, and it’s backed by a growing ecosystem of silicon and original design manufacturer partners.

The key characteristic of Ubuntu Core is that it’s fully containerized, with its main components – including the kernel, operating system and applications — all broken down into packages known as “snaps.” Each of these snaps operates within an isolated sandbox that includes the app’s dependencies, ensuring it’s both portable and resilient.

The latest version, Ubuntu Core 22, is powered by the Ubuntu 22.04 LTS real-time kernel. That helps ensure high performance, low latency and workload predictability for time-sensitive use cases in the industrial, telecommunications, automotive and robotics sectors, Canonical said.

It explained that the new kernel is “fully preemptible” and ensures applications and devices will provide time-bound responses. The company has partnered with numerous silicon and hardware manufacturers to ensure it can provide real-time capabilities out of the box on all Ubuntu Certified Hardware.

Canonical said each device that runs Ubuntu Core will feature a dedicated IoT app store that ensures users will have full control over which applications it can run. It serves as a sophisticated software management solution that enables various on-premises features, the company added.

Most important, it guarantees transactional, mission-critical over-the-air updates that will either complete successfully or, if not, automatically roll back to the previous working version. Through this safeguard, Ubuntu Core ensures that devices cannot be bricked by incomplete updates, Canonical said. The snaps also enable “delta updates” that minimize network traffic, plus digital signatures that ensure the integrity and provenance of each software update.

Finally, Canonical said, users are reassured with the 10-year security maintenance of Ubuntu Core 22’s kernel, OS and application-level code that it offers.

Canonical Chief Executive Mark Shuttleworth said the company’s goal is to provide a secure, reliable open-source operating system that runs everywhere, from development environments to the cloud, all the way down to the edge and individual devices. “With this release and Ubuntu’s real-time kernel, we are ready to expand the benefits of Ubuntu Core across the entire embedded world,” he said.

Image: Canonical

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